Premier League 2022/23 Hot Takes

The Premier League season might have only just finished but already there is talk of what next season might hold. Here we offer up some rather premature Premier League hot picks.

Who will win the league?

Let's cut to the chase, there are likely to be two sides leading the race for the Premier League crown – Man City and Liverpool. City's final day comeback versus Aston Villa saw them finish a point clear of Liverpool with the duo finishing on 93 and 92 respectively. The next closest side, Chelsea, finished on 74 – some 19 points short of the top spot. Pep Guardiola has already strengthened his side with Erling Haaland arriving whilst Liverpool, who are losing Sadio Mane, will surely make moves to improve their depth too; that means the two of them are rightly big favourites in the bookies' rankings right now.

Our prediction: Man City

What sides will finish in the top four?

With Man City and Liverpool already mentioned as the two title challengers, we're confident they'll both ease into the top four. That leaves two further spots open for Champions League football. Chelsea and Tottenham sealed them in the season just gone and both will expect to be in the mix again in 12 months' time. Arguably, Tottenham are best positioned to make it back-to-back top-four finishes; since Antonio Conte arrived in North London Spurs have taken the third-most points of all teams. Add into the mix what is believed to be a £150m warchest and it's hard to see Conte letting things slip. The signing of Ivan Perisic is already sorted.

tottenham-manager-antonio-conte
Conte knows a thing or two about getting results.

Chelsea meanwhile are also expected to throw some cash around with Todd Boehly now at the club's helm. It's just as well because with Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger heading for the exit door, they need reinforcements at the back. Jules Kounde has been heavily linked, which would be a terrific signing. At the other end of the pitch, you wonder if Thomas Tuchel will have work with what he has in the building already. Surely nobody is taking Lukaku off Chelsea's hands unless the club are willing to take a huge loss on the £100m they paid for him. That said if he gets a run of games, he's more than capable of firing the Blues to a top-four finish.

Prediction: Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea

The race for the Europa and Conference League spots

With the top four nailed down, that leaves a significant number of teams battling for Europa League and Conference League action.

Arsenal

Arsenal, who bottled their top-four chase, will hope to at least secure a place for Europa League football but we're not convinced. Despite a good season just gone – comparable to pre-season expectations at least – it feels like they need some big signings this window; we're not sure they'll get them. Gabriel Jesus is the main name, which still feels a long way from being done and the likes of Aaron Hickey are hardly going to be the difference in 2023.

Man United

Manchester United meanwhile will surely be stronger than the year just gone. Erik Ten Hag has a lot of work to do over the summer but, even without massive investment, the club will at least see a clear development of style and have a hierarchy that demands their instructions are followed. Throw into the mix a new face or two and the fact that people like Harry Maguire can't possibly be as out of form as this season and United should get into the top six at the very least.

erik ten hag
Erik Ten Hag is a manager that knows what he wants. Photo by Icon sport

West Ham

West Ham will want to be in the hunt again too but with questions over the future of Declan Rice and a Europa Conference League campaign to deal with, we think it might be beyond them.

Newcastle

Newcastle are another side that will be throwing around big bucks this summer. They impressed massively after January and with more signings expected there is every reason to think they'll be mixing it up in the top third of the table. Providing Eddie Howe can bring in some quality without disrupting the harmony of his camp, which was cited as critical to their good form in the second half of the campaign, then there is every chance they can make the top six. A fit and firing striker will be key; could Hugo Ekitike be that man?.

Aston Villa

The last team we’re going to mention in this section is Aston Villa. They’ve shown what they’re capable of under Steven Gerrard but consistency has been a bit of an issue. With the additions they’ve made already in the shape of Diego Carlos and Boubacar Kamara, they clearly mean business. Providing both players adapt to the Premier League, they’ll be good signings too. With more almost definitely to follow, Villa have got a real shot of mixing it up with those chasing Europe.

Aston Villa's new man Diego Carlos
Diego Carlos should be a good signing for Villa. (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Prediction: Europa League – Man United, Newcastle

Conference League: Aston Villa

What trio will get relegated?

Now we turn our attention to the other end of the table as we look at who will get relegated. The obvious place to start is with the newly promoted sides in Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest. All of them will have a fighter's chance of staying up but, ultimately, we see Bournemouth and Forest coming up short.

Fulham

Fulham might just keep their heads above water providing they can create enough chances for Aleksander Mitrovic; people will say ‘he can't cut it in the Prem' but we'll wager he'll hit double figures in 2022/23 and that might be enough for the Cottagers.

Bournemouth

Bournemouth's predicted struggles ultimately comes down to one key factor – will they score enough goals? Dominic Solanke has it all to prove after hitting just four goals in 63 appearances. For reference, the ‘incapable' Mitrovic has a top-flight record of 24 in 104; that's a goal every 4.3 games as opposed to Solanke's rate of one every 15.8. Don't get us wrong, Solanke will score at a better rate than that this year but whether he'll score enough remains to be seen. Around him, will there be others chipping in with enough?

Nottingham Forest

As for Forest, they've written a great story this year as the sleeping giant rose from the foot of the table to the promised land via the playoffs. Does that translate to Premier League safety? We're not so sure. Brennan Johnson has been their star man this year but it's an almighty ask of a 21-year-old to carry you in the top flight. Forest fans will undoubtedly point to a couple of cup results to say their squad can compete but those games are very different events to doing it every week. The smart investment will be needed and we see Forest starting well before getting sucked back into serious danger.

Southampton

There is always one team that drops into the relegation battle from what was deemed a ‘safe’ position the season before. Southampton are our pick for that. They ended the season in awful form; in their last 10 games, they collected just five points and failed to beat the likes of Burnley, Watford and Leeds. They could well come into the 2022/23 campaign in worse shape than they finished this one too. Armando Broja will not be with the Saints next year whilst Jan Bednarek and James Ward-Prowse are also question marks. If they lose all three of those then they’re in big trouble. Even if they keep them, they’ll be in for a long hard season.

Prediction: Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth, Southampton

Who will win the Golden Boot?

We see the top scorer battle being a four-way battle. Mo Salah speaks for himself having hit 20-plus goals in four of the last five seasons; the one exception was 2019/20 where he scored 19. With Egypt not at the World Cup as well, he might have extra freshness compared to others.

The next two can be covered together – Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min. Both have a track record of scoring goals. Son shared the Golden Boot with Salah this season and has scored double figures in each of his last six seasons. Kane meanwhile had a very slow start to last year after transfer talk distracted his summer and early season form; he still ended up with 17 goals. That's his joint-worst return in eight years.

Last but not least we have a new face to the Premier League; step forward Erling Haaland. Man City have dominated the Premier League in recent years without a number nine and now have one of the best in the world. Considering that City had the highest xG in the league last season combined with Haaland having a strike rate of a goal every 86-minutes in Germany and he has to be considered as a real threat to the top scorer race. In fact, we think he'll win it.

Prediction: Erling Haaland

Haaland
Haaland celebrating could become a regular thing at Man City.

Full Premier League table prediction

1 – Man City

2 – Liverpool

3 – Tottenham

4 – Chelsea

5 – Man United

6 – Newcastle

7 – Aston Villa

8 – Arsenal

9 – West Ham

10 – Brighton

11 – Wolves

12 – Leicester

13 – Crystal Palace

14 – Everton

15 – Leeds

16 – Fulham

17 – Brentford

18 – Southampton

19 – Nottingham Forest

20 – Bournemouth